Space investing is in its infancy, but analysts and investors believe the final frontier is ripe with opportunity and disruptive potential. Stock picking to that effect is, however, tricky business, highlighting the utility of exchange traded funds such as the ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF (ARKX ).
ARKX is in the midst of a solid 2023 rebound, pointing higher by nearly 9% on a year-to-date basis. For investors that take a long-term view of space – perhaps the appropriate course of action – more significant gains could be realized down the road.
Consider the following: In a note to clients out earlier this week, Citigroup analyst Jason Gursky compared the current state of the space investing segment to a “gold rush” scenario.
“In a way, space feels like the opportunity presented by the California gold rush – lots of risk, but plenty of potential upside for those that find the special nugget,” he wrote.
He initiated coverage of several space-related equities, extolling a preference for Planet Labs (PL). That stock currently isn’t a member of the ARKX portfolio, but it’s worth remembering the ETF is actively managed, so ARK Investment Management can rapidly seize upon emerging space investment opportunities. The analyst also started coverage of ARKX member firm Rocket Lab (RKLB) with a “neutral” grade.
Beyond specific equity ideas, Citi is constructive on the future growth potential of the space industry and that extends beyond space tourism.
“Citigroup is constructive on the outlook for space-based activity. It expects space to become a trillion-dollar industry by 2040, growing at a 5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the period, thanks to government space budgets, satellite industry growth, and new applications and sub-specialities,” reported Michelle Fox for CNBC.
Due to expected government investments in space, large-cap, blue-chip aerospace, and defense stocks are also appealing avenues for space access. Citi has a “buy” rating on Lockheed Martin (LMT) and “neutral” views on Northrop Grumman (NOC), and Raytheon Technologies (RTX). Lockheed Martin is a member of the ARKX roster.
“After all, a rising tide is likely to raise all boats and these companies are less risky given their balance sheets and proven experience in successfully launching both manned and unmanned spacecraft to any number of orbits,” concluded Citi’s Gursky.
ARKX holds 35 stocks ranging in weights from 0.23% at the bottom to 8.23% at the top.
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